Tim Mackey Presents GIS Research on Counterfeit Cancer Medication At Interchange 2014
During a research presentation at Partnership for Safe Medicines Interchange 2014 in Washington D.C. Tim Mackey, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego’s Department of Anaesthesiology, addressed the effect counterfeit Avastin has had on efforts to protect the American public from fake medications.
Dr. Tim Mackey shared his American Cancer Society funded research with attendees at Interchange 2014. Titled After Avastin, What Have We Learned and What Can Be Done? Mackey’s research took a multidisciplinary approach to examining the data, using FDA warnings plus GIS and network analysis to try to draw conclusions as to what can be done to prevent another counterfeit Avastin-type incident in the United States..
Frequently Asked Questions Q1. What are Biosimilars?
Answer: A Biosimilar medicine is a follow-on version of original or innovator’s biological medicines (Reference biologicals) that is similar but not identical to the original biological medicine. Biosimilar products are similar in terms of quality, safety and efficacy to a reference biologicals, but not essentially identical copies, to reference products like conventional generics. Biosimilar medicines are intended to have the same mechanism of action as the original biological medicines, and are designed to treat the same diseases as the innovator’s product, however don’t utilize the same living cell line, production process, or raw material as the innovator product.
Biosimilars of vaccines, blood and blood components, allergenics, somatic cells, gene therapy, tissues, and proteins are widely available in India and International Market.
Q2. Can a Biosimilar medicine be used instead of the original biological medicine?
Answer: Yes. It is possible to be switched from one biological medicine to a Biosimilar version of that medicine under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
However, while a pharmacist can, with your permission, dispense a generic version of a small molecule medicine instead of the original medicine, they cannot substitute a biosimilar version of a medicine for the original product (or another biosimilar) if that is the one prescribed. You should not switch back and forth between a biosimilar medicine and the original product (or vice versa) unless your doctor determines it is appropriate to do so.
Biosimilar medicines should always be prescribed by name of the active components. This name will not be exactly the same as that of the original biological medicine, so that the two products will not be confused. With biological medicines you should only take the brand of the medicine that is prescribed for you.